AS IF Middlesex’s start to the campaign hasn’t been bad enough, now the volcanic ash cloud threatens their hopes of much needed reinforcements.
Owais Shah’s involvement in the Indian Premier League ended on Monday when the Kolkatta Knights failed to reach the tournament’s semi-finals.
But with flights grounded all over the world by the eruption of Mt. Eyjafjallajoekull in Iceland, the arrival time back in England of the Panthers’ barring talisman remains uncertain - bad news for a fledgling batting line-up short of runs.
And despite the issuing of his visa, left-arm seamer Pedro Collins remained twiddling his thumbs back home in the West Indies.
Skipper Shaun Udal said: "I think Pedro’s visa has just come through so I think he can get his tickets and stuff and he’s due in this week.
"Obviously with the problems with ash there are no planes coming in so he’s stuck at the moment itching to get over here. Hopefully that will be in the next 7-8 days.
"Angus Fraser is talking to Owais and we hope he might be back for the Sunday league game with Northants, but it’s possible we may not have him as soon as we’d like."
The need for Shah appears the greater for Udal, Fraser and company after another disastrous first innings capitulation saw Middlesex lose to Glamorgan at Lords for the first time in over 50 years this week.
The hosts made only 160 in the first innings to trail by 155, but Glamorgan declined to enforce the follow on before setting Udal’s men 375 to win.
David Malan’s first century (114) since making 132 on his county debut in June 2008, and 69 from England captain Andrew Strauss briefly raised hopes of an unlikely win, but they were bowled out for 296 to go down by 74 runs.